Cover photo for James Sheridan “Jim” Kinder's Obituary
James Sheridan “Jim” Kinder Profile Photo
1939 James 2018

James Sheridan “Jim” Kinder

May 12, 1939 — May 7, 2018

Indiana lost a giant this week when Major James S. “Jim” Kinder died of heart failure on May 7 at his home in Fishers.  Kinder, a 29-year veteran of the Indiana State Police, is often credited as the father of modern computing for law enforcement in Indiana.

Jim Kinder was born in Elwood, Indiana on May 12, 1939 to Lowell Kinder and Madonna (Clyde) Kinder.  He grew up in Tipton where his father served as a fireman and fire chief for 35 years.

At age 25, the young civil servant became a state policeman assigned to the post at Redkey.  On the night of December 13, 1964, within a week of getting his first patrol car, Kinder was struck by a drunk driver near Muncie while outside of his car helping another vehicle.  He was hurled into the air and critically injured.  Kinder remarkably survived, though he spent most of the next two years in Ball Memorial Hospital.  Once recovered, he could no longer work as a trooper on the road and had to develop new areas of police expertise.

In 1968, Kinder was reassigned to the State Office Building where he joined a fledgling unit called Data Processing.  By the early 1970’s, he was leading this unit and a technology revolution that took the Indiana State Police from the era of punch cards and room-sized mainframes to PCs and networks of shared crime data. From there, the department has continued its march forward and now uses mobile computers in patrol cars as well as real-time networks of crime data.

“Jim Kinder left an indelible mark on the Indiana State Police”, said Doug Carter, current Superintendent of the Indiana State Police.  “He survived a horrific accident early in his career, but never let that define him.  He went on to lead our computing department for nearly 20 years during its most formative time.  On top of that, he trained generations of new recruits at the Academy. Jim was a mentor to me as a young trooper, even inviting me to dinners in his home.  He genuinely loved being a policeman.”

For his efforts leading the Data Processing unit, Kinder was awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest honor, by Governor Otis Bowen in 1979.

Jim Kinder graduated from Tipton High School and Indiana University.  He served in the US Army from 1959 to 1964.  He was honorably discharged from the Army and joined the Indiana State Police where he served until his retirement in 1993.  He later served as head of communications for the City of Carmel and Tipton County.

Jim played an active role in the community.  He was longtime member of Our Lady of Grace and Saint Louis de Montfort Catholic parishes.  He led the building committee for Saint Louis de Montfort in 1978, and became the first Grand Knight of its Knights of Columbus council in 1980.  Jim was a past president of the parent-teacher organization for Fishers Elementary School.  He coached countless local children in little league baseball and football for Hamilton Southeastern schools.  He was a charter member of the Fishers Downtown Athletic Club.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Linda (Burton) Kinder; son James J. “Jeff” Kinder and his wife Julie Herlihy of Menlo Park, CA; daughter Julie Kweder and husband Jeff of Carmel; son John Kinder of Bend, OR, and eight grandchildren: Jaclyn Kweder, Andrew Kweder, Ashley Kweder, Joseph Kweder, James L. Kinder, Elliot Kinder, David “Max” Kinder, and Eleanor Kinder.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Mary Alice Nichols of Tipton, and his brother David Kinder of Sellersburg who was also a longtime veteran of the state police.

Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Young-Nichols Funeral Home, 216 W. Jefferson Street, Tipton on Friday, May 11.  A second visitation will be held at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 9900 East 191st Street, Noblesville starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, followed by a funeral mass at 12 pm. Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery in Tipton at 3:30 pm on Saturday, May 12.  Honors from the Indiana State Police and Tipton American Legion will be presented.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Indiana Concerns of Police Survivors, which supports families of officers killed in the line of duty.  Anyone can make a donation to the group at or P.O. Box 2222, Indianapolis, IN 46206.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Sheridan “Jim” Kinder, please visit our flower store.


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